Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Byron Murphy

Name: Byron Murphy

Position: Cornerback

School: Washington

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 190

40-yard dash: 4.55 seconds

Bench: 14 reps

Vertical: 36.5 inches

Broad: 120.0 inches

3-cone: (did not run)

20-yard shuttle: (did not run)

How he fits: Murphy earned First Team All-Pac 12 and Second Team Associated Press All-American accolades after he collected 58 tackles, four tackles for loss and led the Huskies with four interceptions and 13 pass deflections in 14 starts this past season.

The Lions have reshaped their cornerback room this offseason with the free agent acquisitions of Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin, and the release of Nevin Lawson. Coleman, Melvin, Darius Slay, Jamal Agnew, Teez Tabor, Mike Ford and Dee Virgin all have NFL experience.

But cornerbacks are like pass rushers in that a team can never have too many of them, especially in the defensive age of football right now, where teams are in extra defensive back sub packages 70 percent of the time or more. Teams are always on the lookout for talented young cornerbacks in the draft.

Murphy is tough and instinctive, and finds himself around the ball an awful lot, which are traits both Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have talked about wanting to add to the roster.

Key observations: Murphy's overall grade of 91.9 and coverage grade of 91.9 from Pro Football Focus both led all cornerbacks this past season. He was the MVP of the Pac-12 Championship Game, when he scored the game's only touchdown on a 66-yard interception return.

Murphy was a 2018 Bednarik Award (best defensive player in college football) semifinalist.

He was a full-time starter for just one season and played in 20 games total throughout his college career.

View photos of NFL prospect Byron Murphy.

What they had to say about him: "Murphy has average height and a lean, slender frame for the position. He primarily lines up outside, but he does take some reps in the slot. He plays a lot of bail technique, keeping his eyes on the quarterback, and he's quick to key, plant and drive on the ball. He has excellent instincts and ball skills. He is a very fluid athlete, and his quickness is outstanding. However, there are some concerns about his deep speed. Against the run, he is aggressive as a force defender, but he'll dive and miss some tackles. Overall, Murphy lacks ideal size/speed, but he's ultra-instinctive and will be very attractive to teams that play a lot of zone coverage." – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

How he stacks up: Jeremiah lists Murphy as his No. 26 overall prospect in this draft, but he's his top cornerback available in the draft.

Murphy is the fourth best cornerback available in this draft behind Deandre Baker (Georgia), Greedy Williams (LSU) and Rock Ya-Sin (Temple), according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.

Scout's Inc. gives Murphy a prospect grade of 89 (outstanding prospect) just one away from a 90, which falls under the "rare prospect" category in their grading scale. He's the No. 24 overall prospect by Scouts Inc. and their No. 1 cornerback.

What he had to say: "The best corner in the draft," Murphy described himself at the Combine "(I'm) a corner that can do everything. (I'm) physical. I like to tackle, cover, man-to-man, zone. You're going to get everything."

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